Farmers upto wild tricks in Gir to save crops
Himanshu Kaushik | TNN
Times Of India
October 19, 2007: Three lioness and two cubs were found buried in the fields in Dhari. The animals were buried in a private field after getting electrocuted.
January 6, 2008: A adult male lion died in Simran village in Jafrabad Taluka due to electrocution when it came in contact with live wire put in the fencing.
May 3, 2008: A six-year-old leopard died after it got entangled in a trap laid in the field in Simar Village in Jasadhar range.
Ahmedabad: In the last six months, at least six lions have been electrocuted while one leopard died after getting caught in a trap laid out in private fields. The farmers in and around Sasan Gir are resorting to desperate measures to protect the standing crops.
Officials say that with majority of the lions moving out of the protected sanctuary, the farmers are finding it difficult to save their crops and hence they resort to such practices. The May 3 incident has shocking many with farmers resorting to poaching in the revenue area outside the Gir forest. A carcass of a grown-up leopard was discovered in Simar village in Jasadhar range.
According to deputy conservator of forest (Gir east) J S Solanki, evidence collected from the spot pointed out that Kala Dabhi and Uka Dabhi, both residents of Simar village, had been involved in the incident. Both the accused have been absconding, he said.
The farmer had laid a trap in an agricultural land owned by Madhav Ladumor. When informed, forest officials rushed to the spot and recovered the carcass. It was sent to the Jashadhar Animal Care Centre where a post-mortem was carried out. Officials said that the animal died due to an abdominal injury caused by a trap wire that was found wrapped around its body.
An officer, on the condition of anonymity, said it was shocking to see electrocution rearing its ugly head. "The officials must see that those who are caught doing electrocution or laying a trap are punished." He added that in such cases there is no intention to kill the lion but to save the crop. In such killings, the nails, skin and other parts of the animal remain intact. Usually the frequency of such incidents increase after the rains. Bharat Pathak, conservator of forests, said such incidents had taken place in coastal area where the farmer had laid traps for wild bores. "A leopard fell into the trap and was killed," added Pathak.
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